There is a reason why many are considering Kree Harrison a front-runner to win “American Idol” Season 12. And Kree’s show-opening killing of “With a Little Help from My Friends” on Beatles night showed that well. We talked to the singer right after the show — find out what she had to say in this interview.

How are you feeling?

Kree Harrison: I feel great! Really good. I mean, the judges’ feedback was awesome. Randy and Mariah tricked me for a minute, so that was a little nerve-wracking. I literally had a minor heart attack when she was like, “I didn’t like it.” And I was like, “Please, please like it!” But it worked out.

How did it feel going first?

Kree Harrison: That was the most nerve-wracking thing about it. It’s a lot of pressure to go first. ‘Cause, not only do you have to beat your last performance, but, you know, all the night. We’ll see. America will determine what happens.

Why did you pick your song?

Kree Harrison: I love that song! I love Joe Cocker’s version especially, so I tried to marry the two versions. I just love that song! It’s fun, and I mean every word to it, because I have amazing friends.

How has your confidence changed from the beginning of this whole journey to today?

Kree Harrison: You know what? Living in Nashville for so long, you kind of feel like a needle in a haystack, because there are such amazing musicians and singers. And being in this competition now, I know I’m respected for being the artist I am, staying true to country. And the fact that they praise me for that is all I have ever wanted. I think that’s boosted my confidence more than anything.

Did you have another performance tonight that stood out to you?

Kree Harrison: I’m not going to answer that! I felt like everybody really brought their A-game, I really do. I think that Candice owned the crowd. That’s what I think. We were all backstage like, “Come together!” We all loved it.

How was it hearing your video about your parents right before?

Kree Harrison: I didn’t listen. I couldn’t listen. I didn’t, because they kind of warned me ahead of time that it was gonna be emotional, and I assumed that it would be about it. So I just thought to myself, “This is a happy song, and I wanna enjoy this and not be…” I wanted to live in the moment rather than think about anything else. I just kind of zoned out during that part. Even though it was in my in-ears, I was just kind of “Lalalalala… Going to sing now!”

Having gone through an elimination now, does the competition feel more serious?

Kree Harrison: Of course it’s pressure. You know what I mean? But like I told you last time, we get to go on tour together, whatever happens. But of course I want to stay — I want to win this! I think, more than anything, I want to get to the hometown parade. I just think that going back to that would be amazing. Hopefully, I’ll make it that far. But we’ll see.

You’ve been in LA for awhile now, do you get to go out?

Kree Harrison: No. Well, it’s a bittersweet thing. ‘Cause even if we get time off, we’re so tired. I sit, honestly, I sit around and color. Like a five year old. And it somehow relaxes me. It literally zones me out. Candice, one of her friends sent her a SpongeBob coloring book — because SpongeBob is her favorite — and I like definitely stole it and I colored like half of the coloring book.

Was tonight different, knowing that you were in the Top 3 last week?

Kree Harrison: Yeah.
It was. Because I thought to myself, “What if people think, ‘Oh, she’s
safe'”? And they don’t vote for me because I’m in the top. And also I
was first, so I need to make sure I put a stamp on it so they don’t
forget to vote for me ’cause they just heard 8 other amazing
performances. I don’t know — it’s always pressure. I’m really just
appreciative to be here. And then get to sing a Beatles song for
America. That’s pretty bad**s.

How did it feel, being in the Top 3 last week? Were you expecting that?

Kree Harrison: I wasn’t expecting it. I felt so much love, and the support is overwhelming. And I can’t wait to go on tour and thank everyone personally!

“American Idol” will air the Top 9 results on Thursday, March 21 at 8pm on FOX.

Posted by:Laurel Brown